Scouting Baseball's 2014 MLB Draft Content
MLB Draft Overall Rankings: Top 50 Overall Draft Prospects, Top 30 High School Prospects & Top 30 College Prospects
Regional Prep Prospect Rankings (September 2013): Florida, Georgia, Deep South, Mid-Atlantic & Ohio Valley, Northeast, East Region, Midwest, Southwest & Rockies, Texas & Oklahoma, Southern California, Pacific Northwest & West Region
Marginal Prospects Podcasts: Post Showcase Class Breakdown with BA's Clint Longenecker & PG's Frankie Piliere, Early Cape Cod League Review, ECU RHP Jeff Hoffman Interview, Cardinals Director of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz, Padres Scouting Director Billy Gasparino, Reviewing Top 50 Draft Prospects w/PG's Frankie Piliere
Draft Central & Complete Site Archive
Updated Video/Links/Scouting Notes (August 2013): Tyler Kolek, Alex Jackson, Braxton Davidson, Michael Gettys & Jacob Gatewood
Area Code Games Content (August 2013): HS Prospects Stock Sideways/Down, Pitcher Notes, Hitter Notes I, Hitter Notes II & Top Prospects
PG National Showcase Content (June 2013): Pre-PG Showcase Notes, PG Junior National Hitter Rankings, PG Junior National Pitcher Rankings, Top Five High School Pitchers With Full Video & Reports & Top Five High School Hitters With Full Video & Reports
College Recruiting Classes, Ranked With Scouting Reports (June 2013): SEC Commit Scouting Reports, Pac-12 Commit Scouting Reports, Big 10 Commit Scouting Reports, Big 12 Commit Scouting Reports, ACC Commit Scouting Reports
Early Class Previews (May 2013): College Pitchers, Prep Pitchers, College Hitters, Prep Hitters
Intro & Disclaimer
Now that the summer is over and school is starting, the first phase of the off-season for the 2014 MLB Draft is complete. College summer leagues and the high school summer showcase season are over and, after seeing most of the top events/leagues and talking to scouts to fill in some holes, I've got a solid idea of where the draft class stands right now. Over the next few weeks, I'll walk through the whole draft class, breaking it up by state/region and high school/college, with today's first installment being the prep class of my home state, Florida.
It's important to note that while this list suggests there are 18 Florida prep prospects will go in the top 3 rounds (106 picks in the 2013 draft), that isn't what I'm suggesting. Once you get out of the top 8-10 players in this list, or the top two rounds, things get much harder to peg, even if this list was made the day of the draft. Between now and then, players get hurt, regress, their price tags don't match their talent and prospects get squeezed by the more limiting draft budgets ushered in by the new CBA. In addition, when you include late-round/over-slot bonuses, more than just the players picked in the top 106 picks get bonuses equivalent to talent level. There won't be 18 Florida prep prospects in my overall draft top 100 rankings (which will come out after this series is completed), but there will likely be double digits.
As for the state of Florida specifically, this is a much better crop than 2013 and is very concentrated in the Orlando area. In 2013, Florida preps had a presence in the top few rounds, but was down significantly from recent years (1st: 2B/C Christian Arroyo/Giants, 2nd: RHP Tyler Danish/White Sox, SS Oscar Mercado/Cardinals, 3B Tucker Neuhaus/Brewers, 3rd: LF Cord Sandberg/Phillies & 2nd round bonus in 5th round: LHP Sean Brady/Indians) with some very solid prospects going to school (C Chris Okey/Clemson, SS Ben DeLuzio/Florida State, 1B Zack Collins & RF Willie Abreu/Miami, 3B John Sternagel/Florida, RHP Nick Eicholtz/Alabama).
Numbers 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 on the list are all from the Orlando area, with a couple more within an hour or so. Normally, the state is split evenly between Miami, Tampa and Orlando with Jacksonville and the southwest coast pitching in a few players. Last year, Miami was terrible, Orlando was down some and Tampa was excellent, while this year Orlando has a historic haul with over half the top players in a strong crop.
Of this year's class, most of these players have been consistent throughout the summer though two Orlando-area players have emerged later in the summer: North Carolina commit 2B Forrest Wall breaking out at the East Coast Pro Showcase while Virginia commit CF/LHP Adam Haseley, who was though of as a better pitching prospect, is currently carrying the 18U Team USA on his back in Taiwan, hitting .500/.515/.833 in 32 PA. It's also worth noting #16 on the list, UCF commit RHP Kyle Marsh from the Daytona area, is a wildcard as he tore his ACL last March and hasn't pitched since but could move into the 2nd round with a strong spring. Even as an underclassman, Marsh had good buzz with scouts as a two-way standout on a prep powerhouse that was in the low 90's with a good breaking ball as a sophomore.
It's easy to see Florida State has a very strong recruiting class this year and Florida has a great class coming in 2015, but it's not quite that simple. The top three players in the Seminoles 2014 class are likely to go in the top 50 picks/turn pro and it's still too early to be certain which prospects are pro guys and which should get to campus, key to evaluating recruiting classes. Florida's 2014 class may be better in the end, with one elite player from out of state (possible top 10 overall pick RHP Grant Holmes from South Carolina) and a litter of players in rounds 3-5 and below that should yield multiple college contributors while limiting losses to pro ball.
In the past few years, the Gators have had elite classes but have been gashed by the draft, so this looks to be a change in recruiting approach. UCF is doing a solid job along these lines and while they only have two players on this list, Virginia (class breakdown, other classes listed above) may be doing the best in the country among 2014 recruiting classes at stockpiling lots of players currently projected for rounds 3-6. It's easy to point out which programs are successful at this now, but many of these players commit as freshmen and sophomores in high school, so there's a good bit of lag time and margin for error in recruiting strategies.
Want More Information?
Full reports and video will be coming soon on these players, but by clicking on their names, you can see the existing content, with video of the top 12 prospects for 2014 already posted along with scouting reports for many of the listed players. Much of this content beyond the list itself is for subscribers, so consider starting a free trial by clicking the link in the upper right hand corner of this page and possibly becoming a subscriber.
2014 MLB Draft Prospects (Top 5 Rounds, High School: FL)
* #32 prospect LF Joey Swinarski enrolled at Mississippi State this summer, making him eligible for the 2014 college season. He will forego being eligible for a draft until he's completed three years for the Bulldogs. I include him in this state ranking to give you an idea of his talent but he won't be in any future 2014 draft rankings.
2015 MLB Draft Prospects (Top 3 Rounds, High School: FL)
2016 MLB Draft Prospects (Elite Follows, High School: FL)